NASA Blue Marble 2007 East

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    Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Reto Stöckli

    A day’s clouds. The shape and texture of the land. The living ocean. City lights as a beacon of human presence across the globe. This amazingly beautiful view of Earth from space is a fusion of science and art, a showcase for the remote-sensing technology that makes such views possible, and a testament to the passion and creativity of the scientists who devote their careers to understanding how land, ocean, and atmosphere—even life itself—interact to generate Earth’s unique (as far as we know!) life-sustaining environment.

    Drawing on data from multiple satellite missions (not all collected at the same time), a team of NASA scientists and graphic artists created layers of global data for everything from the land surface, to polar sea ice, to the light reflected by the chlorophyll in the billions of microscopic plants that grow in the ocean. They wrapped these layers around a globe, set it against a black background, and simulated the hazy edge of the Earth’s atmosphere (the limb) that appears in astronaut photography of the Earth.

    The land surface layer is based on photo-like surface reflectance observations (reflected sunlight) measured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite in July 2004. The sea ice layer near the poles comes from Terra MODIS observations of daytime sea ice observed between August 28 and September 6, 2001. The ocean layer is a composite. In shallow water areas, the layer shows surface reflectances observed by Terra MODIS in July 2004. In the open ocean, the photo-like layer is overlaid with observations of the average ocean chlorophyll content for 2004. NASA’s Aqua MODIS collected the chlorophyll data. The cloud layer shows a single-day snapshot of clouds observed by Terra MODIS across the planet on July 29, 2001. City lights on Earth’s night side are visualized from data collected by the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program mission between 1994–1995. The topography layer is based on radar data collected by the Space Shuttle Endeavour during an 11-day mission in February of 2000. Topography over Antarctica comes from the Radarsat Antarctic Mapping Project, version 2.

    Most of the data layers in this visualization are available as monthly composites as part of NASA’s Blue Marble Next Generation image collection. The images in the collection appear in cylindrical projection (rectangular maps), and they are available at 500-meter resolution. The large images provided above are the full-size versions of these globes. In their hope that these images will inspire people to appreciate the beauty of our home planet and to learn about the Earth system, the developers of these images encourage readers to re-use and re-publish the images freely.

    NASA images by Reto Stöckli, based on data from NASA and NOAA.

    To learn the history of the Blue Marble go here:

    To learn more about the Blue Marble go here:

    To learn more about NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center go here:

    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is home to the nation's largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.

    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is home to the nation's largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.

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    Kevin, ester68, Juanedc, khiaaok, and 463 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 20 more comments

    1. Exploring Detail, Colour & Light 101 months ago | reply

      Stunning, like a blue marble!

    2. mrbinfv 100 months ago | reply

      Looks great.

    3. pongky © 100 months ago | reply

      amazing composite! looks lifelike enough

    4. Hi i'm Steven 100 months ago | reply

      amazing how small the world looks in this

    5. level zinc [deleted] 100 months ago | reply

      We are so beautiful.

    6. VINCENT MOYASHI 98 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called EYE ZOOM ! ESTHETIQUE ! ( INVITE ONLY ) AWARD 2, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    7. ohthatsurfergirl 97 months ago | reply

      This image is stunning. A perfect combination of art and science. Simply breathtaking.

      "The sermon of the panorama was that even a man without a friend in the Universe could still find his home planet mysteriously, heartbreakingly beautiful."
      - Kurt Vonnegut

    8. winstoncabrera 95 months ago | reply

      ¡Wonderful photos!. Thanks for sharing.

    9. Mademoiselle Abigail 91 months ago | reply

      What a beautiful world we live on :D

    10. ~~Malavida~~ 91 months ago | reply

      Carl Sagan's quote would be perfect here:
      "Consider again that pale blue dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar", every "supreme leader", every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
      Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe:, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves."

    11. sccart 79 months ago | reply

      Where do we go from here , lets not stuff it up !

    12. Eggii 78 months ago | reply

      Amazing shot!

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